What's the difference between a tornado “watch” and a tornado “warning”?
According to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, a “watch” means a tornado is possible in your area. A “warning” means a tornado has been spotted, and you need to take shelter immediately.
Where should you take shelter?
- Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
- If that's not an option, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor.
- In a high-rise, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor.
- Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Stay away from corners; they attract debris.
- A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection.
- If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge
The American Red Cross also suggests that you:
- Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed.
- Know your community's warning system, because they aren't all the same.
- Practice tornado drills so children know what to do
- Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees before high winds hit.
- Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
- Watch for tornado danger signs: dark, often greenish clouds; wall cloud – an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm; cloud of debris; large hail; funnel cloud – a visible rotating extension of the cloud base; roaring noise.
After the storm:
- Finding important documents (deeds, insurance, etc.) will be easier if you've stored them in a safe-deposit box or other safe place.
- Use bottled water or boil tap water before drinking it. Discard any food that comes in contact with contaminated water.
- Inspect your home for damage, and take steps to prevent more damage (cover holes with plywood or plastic).
- Stay out of damaged buildings and away from downed power lines.
- You can let family know you're safe by registering on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website. You can also call 1-866-GET-INFO (1-866-438-4636) to register.
- What’s the difference between a thunderstorm watch and a thunderstorm warning
- What you need to know if there is a tornado
- How to stay safe when driving in in heavy rain
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.